World Arthritis Day Is October 12

Let’s raise awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis, 60 seconds at a time! In honor of this year’s upcoming World Arthritis Day, please share RA Guy’s ’60-Second Guide to RA’ with as many people as possible. (It really does only take a minute to read!)

“All of us who live with RA can work to change uninformed attitudes and perceptions. If we continue to share our stories and talk about what it means to live with rheumatoid arthritis, awareness will continue to grow. If we continue to be open about the physical and emotional challenges that we face on a regular basis, then maybe–just maybe, others will start to see our ability to accept the limitations that rheumatoid arthritis brings into our lives as a sign of personal strength.”
—RA Guy, Living With RA Makes Me Strong

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

Feds Order California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries To Close Within 45 Days

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal prosecutors have launched a crackdown on pot dispensaries in California, warning the stores that they must shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges and confiscation of their property even if they are operating legally under the state’s 15-year-old medical marijuana law.

In an escalation of the ongoing conflict between the U.S. government and the nation’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, California’s s four U.S. attorneys sent letters Wednesday and Thursday notifying at least 16 pot shops or their landlords that they are violating federal drug laws, even though medical marijuana is legal in California. The attorneys are scheduled to announce their coordinated crackdown at a Friday news conference.

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Paul Burstow MP – World Arthritis Day: Webchat With NRAS And CSP

Health Minister Paul Burstow MP looks ahead to live webchat on Wednesday 12th October for World Arthritis Day

“I don’t pretend to be an expert on every condition, though I do understand the devastating impact which rheumatoid arthritis can have on people if it is not identified promptly or managed effectively. Nor do I have any desire to micromanage the professionals at the front line – the doctors, the nurses, the physiotherapists or the self-help groups who directly provide the services to support patients. My job is to help create an environment in which excellent local services can flourish and to ensure that there are no barriers to prevent the provision of high quality care. I am therefore very keen to hear about your experience of living with rheumatoid arthritis and about your access to the services you need.”

Read More:…

How to take part in the webchat

If you have a question about access to physiotherapy, or about services for rheumatoid arthritis more generally, please comment here Alternatively you can tweet your question, mentioning @dhgovuk and using the hashtag: #raphysio.

You will also be able to ask questions and leave comments live during the webchat on October 12, so don’t forget to tune in on the day using the address above.

What If It Gets Any Worse?

I had another major flare this morning. The story is much the same…I was sitting in the back of a taxi cab, on my way towards my morning physical therapy session. (Having a few sessions permanently scheduled throughout the week is working out even better than I could have ever anticipated!) I was listening to music on my iPod as I looked out the window, which means that I had plenty of time to think about everything that was going on at the moment. I could think about the pain (how could I not?) I could think of how seemingly unfazed I was with this start to my day. It used to be that when flares like this happened, invisible alarms would sound and I would declare myself to be in ‘crisis’ mode.

Now, however, all of this just seems so normal.

And right in the middle of this self-congratulatory thinking session, as I reminded myself that I could in fact once again get through this flare, that I could deal with what was going on at the moment, a thought entered my mind: “What if it gets any worse?”

Cue the fear and anxiety, the increased heartbeat as I start trying to imagine what it would be like to actually be in more pain. Cue the time travel; it could be an hour, week, month, year, or decade into the future. (For some strange reason, the last item on this list seems to be the most popular.) But even though I gave the prompts (as I’ve do so many times before, but am only just now recognizing), this unwelcome actor never appeared on stage. And suddenly is seemed so obvious, so simple. Why did I ever invite these fearful thoughts in the past. Why did I play this game? Yes, I know, while in the midst of extreme pain it can be quite difficult to not start trying to imagine how things can get even worse.

But today, I decided to make a change. From now on, I’m only going to think about the best-case scenario…and whatever ends up coming my way–good or bad–I know that at that moment when the unknown future arrives, I will have the strength to get through it.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

Let’s Raise Awareness For World Arthritis Day 2011

One of the lesser-known aspects of running a blog is the fact that your email inbox continuously fills up with product pitches and press releases, from any/every company or organization that is the least bit related to arthritis and chronic pain.

I’m not complaining, and I’m definitely not saying that this shouldn’t be done. (I myself have taught some of these same social media marketing techniques in college courses.) While most of what I share here on this blog is a result of my own personal discovery, I’m certainly open to learning about new books, initiatives, awareness campaigns, etc. that I might have not been previously aware of.

So when I received a message a couple of weeks ago, telling me about the Arthritis Foundation’s campaign for World Arthritis Day 2011, I was…quite frankly…disappointed. If you’re not already familiar with the details of this World Arthritis Day campaign, here’s how it works: if on that day you go get a message or facial at any one of the participating locations of a nation-wide massage company that will remain unnamed in this post, then $10 will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation. This is being billed as “A Joint Effort to Fight Arthritis Pain.” (You can read more about it here.) If you want to pitch a product/service, do so…but don’t try to pass it off as something that it’s not.

Okay, I admit, at least there’s a fundraising component…but where’s the part where we try to inform people what RA is all about? Where’s the part where we use this day and the attention it attracts to educate people about all of the different types of arthritis?

Is this the awareness campaign that so many of us who are living with rheumatoid arthritis deserve? In my opinion, no.

As opposed to just ending this ‘rant’ here, I’m going to propose a solution that might actually serve to raise awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis leading up to this coming World Arthritis Day…and it won’t even cost you a cent! This is all you need to do: share RA Guy’s 60-Second Guide to RA with as many people you know – friends, family, and coworkers. If you’re not already familiar with this resource, it really does only take a minute to read, and it provides a comprehensive explanation that doesn’t require a medical degree to understand. Oh, and there are also a few hand-drawn comic book images that you might enjoy.

Together, all of us can continue to raise awareness about Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy’s 60-Second Guide to RA

World Arthritis Day takes place on October 12. For more information, please visit:

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!